House Ethics Committee launches investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz over allegations of sexual misconduct

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Azmi Haroun,Sonam Sheth
·2 min read
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Matt Gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz. AP
  • The House Ethics Committee said Friday that it would launch an investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz.

  • It cited allegations of sexual misconduct and drug use and reports that he'd shown photos of nude women to colleagues.

  • The committee also opened a sexual-misconduct investigation into Rep. Tom Reed.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The House Ethics Committee announced on Friday that it was launching an investigation into GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida over allegations of sexual misconduct and illicit drug use and reports that he had shown photos of nude women to colleagues on the House floor.

The committee also opened an investigation into Rep. Tom Reed over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Gaetz is the focus of a federal criminal investigation into whether he had a sexual relationship with a minor and broke sex-trafficking laws.

The committee's investigation into Gaetz also covers whether the Florida representative used campaign cash for personal use or whether he accepted a bribe or impermissible gift. Several House members, including at least one Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, have called for Gaetz to resign.

Gaetz's office said in a statement on Friday, "Once again, the office will reiterate, these allegations are blatantly false and have not been validated by a single human being willing to put their name behind them."

On Thursday, lawyers representing Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector and Gaetz associate, told a judge that he was on the cusp of a plea agreement. Greenberg was indicted on 33 counts as part of the wide-ranging sex-trafficking investigation; his cooperation with prosecutors would be a seismic development given his long friendship with Gaetz and knowledge of the activities being scrutinized.

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Gaetz has repeatedly denied the allegations against him and insisted the federal investigation is part of an elaborate and convoluted scheme to extort his family for $25 million.

Reed was accused of groping a lobbyist at a bar in 2017. He apologized in March, adding that he wouldn't run for another term in 2022.

"We have already publicly addressed this situation and consistent with that are cooperating with the House Ethics Committee to bring this matter to conclusion," Reed told the Politico reporter Nicholas Wu on Friday.

Read the original article on Business Insider